New rules to help check foreign doctors' English language skills are a "huge step forward for patient safety", the Health Minister has said.
Previously EU doctors could practise in the UK without having to pass a language test, while those from outside Europe could be made to prove their grasp of English..
The new powers mean the General Medical Council can order a language test if "serious concerns" are raised about a doctor.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "For the first time ever, we have a full system of checks in place to prevent doctors working in the NHS who do not have the necessary knowledge of English from treating patients."
"This is a huge step forward for patient safety. I am pleased to have played my part in making this happen," he added.
More top news
A vegan café has reportedly been attacked by a sausage-wielding group in Georgia described as "fascists".
Crystal Palace midfielder Joe Ledley has made Chris Coleman's 23-man squad which will travel to France for Euro 2016.
Roy Hodgson has whittled down his provisional squad to confirm the final 23 players who will represent England at Euro 2016.